To say this is a critical week for retailers is an understatement. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us, promising a tidal wave of digital sales particularly for those who’ve prepared. But even if you’re lagging a bit behind, there’s still time to seize the day – or rather the season – of exploding online sales. When it comes to the holiday “omnichannel” shopping experience, experts agree product content management is key.
Cyber Monday or Cyber Season? Prepare for Both.
While Black Friday is still the largest shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday is growing at astounding rates. What’s more, ecommerce sales are seeping into the days before and after Thanksgiving. For example, most retailers this year have promoted “early Black Friday” events over the past week. And interestingly, the Tuesday after Cyber Monday has recently been coined “Bounceback Tuesday” by Criteo Insights. Criteo found that online sales across all major retail categories were 159 percent higher on “Bounceback Tuesday” than the average day in 2014.
Overall, according to NRF’s 2016 holiday survey, online sales this year are expected to increase between 7 and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion. On Cyber Monday specifically, 36 percent of consumers plan to shop online, up from 34 percent in 2015.
A portion of this increase is due to the growth of omnichannel shopping. According to NRF’s Retail Holiday Planning Playbook, “Mobile, including both phones and tablets, accounted for 30.4% of online sales (in 2015), up from 25.9% in 2014. Sales on smartphones rose from 14% in 2014 to 19.9% in 2015.”
Thanks to phones and tablets, experts predict we will see more online shopping on Thanksgiving as well. Just picture yourself relaxing on the couch post-feast, grabbing the best deals on your mobile device instead of waiting in lines. Sounds pretty appetizing, right?
With so many shoppers hitting the web this holiday season, retailers must be ready. First, to grab the shopper with product visibility. And second, to convert a click into a sale with accurate, consistent and consumable product content.
Fix Product Content Now
Yes, Cyber Monday is only a few days away. But truly, it’s not too late to fix and improve your product content. Particularly if you’ve deployed an advanced product information management (PIM) or master data management (MDM) system.
The fact is, consumers continue to think about post-holiday shopping as much as they do preholiday buying. According to NRF, “Two-thirds of respondents to an NRF/Prosper survey said they planned to shop after-Christmas sales; 47.2% expected to do in-store, and 43.1% online.”
With that in mind, here are a few timely tips for maximizing your product content:
#1: Create “searchable” product content. Maximize your content’s SEO potential and give search engines ample time to index each product detail page. And, include the GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which is now mandatory with Google. GTINs help eliminate differing data provided by merchants. Using the shopping feed to provide accurate product information leads to a stronger click-through rate and higher conversions. Read our Google GTIN overview here.
#2: Create “shoppable” product content. Videos, blogs, reviews and improved product detail pages are all helping drive conversion. Brand loyalty is built upon content that tells a story, and is consistent and reliable across all channels.
#3: Lean into a PIM and MDM system, like EnterWorks Enable™. Today’s effective product information has moved beyond documenting basic specifications, features and functions. An accurate and synchronized view of product information is essential for supply chain optimization, catalog management, and channel content consistency. EnterWorks Enable provides a 360-degree solution for the on-boarding, cleansing, synchronization and publication of product data. It works to customize and acclimatize content for every channel and preview it in context, exactly like your customers would see it.
#4: Rely on analytics to plan for next year. Cyber Monday success hinges on starting early. So, begin reviewing data now to make next year count. Set up the proper analytics to ensure your product content is working for you, not against you. Tools like the Google Manufacturer Center not only help give your products visibility, but they also provide access to exclusive Google Analytics reports. If you’ve deployed a PIM or MDM system, participating in the latest tools is a seamless process.
From the EnterWorks team, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and prosperous Black Friday and Cyber Monday!